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A Principle-Approach® Pre-K–12 Christian School in Lancaster County, PA

Honors High School

Dayspring’s Honors High School program provides a distinctive educational experience for high-achieving and academically-gifted students. We offer an enhanced college-prep curriculum to which students apply themselves with all diligence toward excellence in Christian character and scholarly pursuits.

Dayspring Christian Academy’s Honors High School is an important element in our mission to prepare students to develop as citizens of excellence in Christian character and scholarship. Classes in the Honors High School program are specially designed to meet the needs of academically gifted and high-performing students. Honors High School Courses differ from traditional courses in that they foster a greater degree of independent scholarship grounded in inquiry, a crucial skill associated with scientific discovery, creative design, and life-long learning.

Students in the program hone creativity and inquiry-based learning skills: those associated with artistry, scientific discovery, invention, and life-long learning. In a standard classroom, it’s common and appropriate for teachers to present a concept or skill, have students learn and practice said concept or skill, then show students how to apply what they’ve learned, but in the Honors High School, teachers become more like coaches who “guide from the side.” Instead of providing students with questions and assigning the same analysis task to all, teachers in the Honors High School encourage students to ask the questions and to design and carry out their own plans for analytical, evaluative, and creative projects.

For example, in October, 2017, 10th grade students in the Honors British Literature class were asked to generate questions and devise means of expressing mastery of concepts and content in response to their readings for the Anglo-Saxon Unit. One student wanted to know whether topography, climate, and weather influence the development of a language. This particular student conducted scholarly research and presented her findings to the class. Another student loved the sound palate of Old English, so she decided to memorize and present, in Anglo-Saxon, Caedmon’s “Hymn;” the oldest existing work of literature in our language; additionally, she conducted research and taught her classmates about the grammar and vocabulary of Old English. When students are encouraged to discern their own applications for what they have learned, their motivation, scholarship, and joy for academics increases exponentially.

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To provide an academically focused high school education that:

  1. Recognizes students’ individuality in the context of their spiritual calling.
  2. Requires students to give internal consent to Christian character growth as the fountain from which excellence proceeds.
  3. Challenges students to excel still more in their pursuit of academic excellence in stewardship of their God-given abilities.
  4. Prepares students for entrance into the higher education opportunities for which they are best suited.
Distinguishing Qualities of the Honors High School Classroom
  •  A culture of respect and learning in the classroom
  • A spirit of joy in learning and discovery
  • High academic standards and expectations
  • Best practices utilized in teaching-learning methodology
  • Off-site field studies and learning opportunities (during the school year as well as summer)
  • High-level intellectual discourse
  • A student portfolio verifying a fully developed application of the Notebook Method
  • Career emphasis in the context of seeking God’s calling
  • Extra work beyond class time
  • Student-teacher ratio is 12:1
College Prep High School in Lancaster, PA

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